Four decent bottles if you’re just getting to know wine, including a great-value sparkler
Wines for the Weekend: John Wilson on Marks & Spencer’s new This Is... range
Marks & Spencer’s This Is... Soft & Tropical, Fresh & Fruity, Fizzy & Fresh and Rich & Spicy
Marks & Spencer has cut its wine range in recent years, but it still has one of the better supermarket offerings. Now it has introduced a line-up of inexpensive This Is... wines, designed to appeal to drinkers who are new to wine. Instead of long, complicated names and grape varieties, these are labelled by style, such as This Is... Soft & Tropical, for the lush, ripe Chardonnay from Argentina. The range has 15 wines, including red, white, rosé and sparkling, from around the wine world. All bar the sparkling wines sell for a very competitive €7.30 a bottle.
This Is... Soft & Tropical, Chardonnay 2019, Argentina (€7.30)
Broad, ripe and rounded, with textured peaches and bananas and a touch of spice. An attractive wine to try with barbecued or grilled chicken, or maybe a prawn and mango salad.
This Is... Fresh & Fruity, Chenin Blanc 2019, South Africa (€7.30)
Light, fresh and fruity, as the labels says, with plump melon and greengage fruits well balanced by good, crisp acidity. Nice summer wine, for pairing with salads and light seafood dishes.
This Is... Fizzy & Fresh, Italian Sparkling Extra Dry (€8.80)
Fresh and frothy with ripe pear and elderflower fruits and a rounded finish. A wine that will certainly appeal to Prosecco drinkers – and is remarkable value for money.
This Is... Rich & Spicy, Shiraz 2019, Australia (€7.30)
A medium- to full-bodied Shiraz with rich plum fruits underpinned nicely by good acidity and a spicy note. Try this with barbecued ribs or pulled pork.